cover image What Do You Do with a Problem?

What Do You Do with a Problem?

Kobi Yamada, illus. by Mae Besom. Compendium, $16.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-943-20000-9

Yamada and Besom follow What Do You Do with an Idea? with the story of a boy plagued by a problem, which Besom imagines as a violet cloud hanging over the boy’s head: “I didn’t want it. I didn’t ask for it. I really didn’t like having a problem, but it was there.” The boy wanders through a medievalesque town, accompanied by sleek, silvery flying fish that dart about like swallows. Soon the cloud grows into a storm: “The more I avoided my problem, the more I saw it everywhere.” At last the boy has an epiphany: armed with goggles, his hair thrown back by the force of the storm’s energy, he reaches into the heart of the cloud and finds light: “I discovered it had something beautiful inside. My problem held an opportunity!” Though some younger readers may find the story overly vague—it’s easy to imagine questions like “What is his problem?” and “What is he talking about?” popping up—Yamada’s inspirational prose and the romance of Besom’s spreads make an impact. Ages 5–8. (July)